What you do after a workout session is as important as what you do during exercise. If you want to maximize your efforts, you need to pay attention to post-workout recovery.

Here are five essential tips to optimize your hard work.

Stretches

Stretching needs to be done directly after your workout session. Because the muscles haven’t cooled down yet, you rapidly get the blood circulating properly throughout the body. Exercise causes a build-up of lactic acid and stretching helps to remove this from the system faster. If you don’t have much time, concentrate on the muscles that worked the hardest.

Rest

You should not stretch to the point of pain. What you want to achieve is flexibility without stiffness. Should you experience muscle fatigue and weakness after a workout, you may want to consider taking a day to rest between sessions once a week.

Restore Protein

Exercise does damage the muscle fibers. You need to take in extra protein to make up for this loss and give the body what it needs to undertake repairs. Make sure you get in a protein-rich meal after your workout. For best results, take in 20 to 40 grams of protein shortly after exercising.

Glucose Levels

The glycogen in your muscles is used to fuel the body during exercise but is quickly exhausted. You will not be able to sustain a daily workout regime if glycogen is not being replaced. Carbohydrates such as rice and potatoes are good for post-exercise restoration.

Hydration

Glycogen synthesis is very much dependent on hydration as well as replacing the stores that you used up during exercise. Hydration also ensures that your body temperature is correctly maintained and that tissues are repaired. You should have eight glasses of water daily with an extra glass for every 15 minutes of workout.

Kratom

Kratom is a product that is excellent for muscle fatigue and post-exercise pain. If you are feeling lethargic after a workout, it will quickly replenish your energy levels. While there are several good kratom extracts, you can blend more than one strain to get the perfect mix for your post-workout recovery.

Antioxidants

The recommended portions of five fruits and vegetables a day are especially applicable to the person who does regular exercise. The body will experience oxidative stress after a workout. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants to counter this. However, you should not try to get antioxidants from supplements as the proportion of vitamins can be too much or too little, whereas whole foods are perfectly balanced.

Sleep

The body does most of its repair work while we are asleep. If you exercise every day, then you should set a goal of eight to nine hours of restful sleep. For some people, this is easier said than done. It helps if you establish a routine of winding down for half an hour before you should be in bed. Switch off the television, stop gaming, and put away your mobile. Use this time to quieten the mind and get in a few deep, calming breaths.

Myofascial Release

The muscles are enclosed in connective tissue which can add to pain after exercise. Myofascial release is a technique for reducing this discomfort and aiding flexibility. Not only is recovery enhanced but so is your next workout. This procedure involves applying pressure to these connective tissues using a foam roller. Massage is a good way to supplement myofascial release.

Bedtime Snack

Not just any bedtime snack will do. You want to have casein protein that digests slowly.

The ideal snacks are cottage cheese or Greek yogurt as they digest slowly. This will provide the body with essential nutrients in the form of amino acids for synthesizing protein in muscles during sleep.

Follow these tips and get the most out of your exercise routine.